This is Central Milton Keynes in the 1980s…
This is it today…
You’ll notice the space to sit has been massively reduced and replaced with a cafe (which luckily for me is closed in the photo).
This is the removal of neutral space, a place for you to sit and do nothing. If you consider chatting, meeting and thinking as doing nothing. Of course, neutral space doesn’t make money so it was removed in the 90s. There are other tactics, play music, stick in market stalls or activities. Anything to get you back in the shops.
Such is shopping centre design, which only seems to take direction from the design of casinos.
Which, of course, bring me to Disneyland Paris. I’ve paid 82€ to be here and 30€ to park but I don’t actually want to go on the rides. I’m in luck, the place is overun and wait times for all the rides are over an hour.
So I’d like to sit somewhere quiet and read, maybe watch the world go by. However, all the neutral space has been removed. It’s made worse by the rain which means that there are large areas of wet picnic tables.
What’s interesting is that there is another famous person that liked to sit in the parks and watch the world go by… Mr Walt Disney.
Casino designers may have ruined the world!